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PMQs: Boris Johnson faces Jeremy Corbyn ahead of 2020 budget – live news | Politics


Cabinet received an update from the health secretary and the prime minister on the coronavirus outbreak. The PM wished Nadine Dorries a speedy recovery, noting that she was following official advice to self-isolate.

The chancellor set out the measures being taken to manage the impact of coronavirus, laying out details of his economic action plan that will be announced at budget.

He outlined how this plan – combined with the measures announced by the governor of the Bank of England this morning – will make the UK one of the best placed economies in the world to manage the potential impact of the virus. The chancellor added the budget will ensure businesses, the public and those in public services working on the front line against the virus get the support they need.

He said despite the impacts of the outbreak being uncertain, we have the economic tools to overcome the disruption caused by the virus and move the country forwards.

The chancellor also said that despite coronavirus being “front and centre in our minds”, the budget will implement the manifesto on which the government had been elected. He said it was vital that people know this is a budget that delivers on the promises made to the British people – investing in public services and cutting taxes for millions of hardworking people – and that there could be no delay in laying the foundations for a decade of growth where opportunity was spread equally across the UK.

The PM said that this budget starts to tackle head on the challenges facing our economy and country – addressing productivity and regional imbalances – and showing that the government is responding to the public’s desire for change. It will set the path for further action through the year.



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‘Charlamagne tha God’ Blasts Joe Biden for Not Appearing on Radio Show



Lenard “Charlamagne tha God” McKelvey criticized former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday for not appearing on The Breakfast Club radio broadcast.

McKelvey told MSNBC’s Craig Melvin that the Democrat frontrunner owes his “political life” to black supporters and that his campaign “would be dead” without them. And while Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, California Sen. Kamala Harris, and former Mayor Pete Buttigieg have all appeared to speak to black voters through his nationally syndicated radio show, Biden has been conspicuously absent.

Asked why he thinks that might be, McKelvey was stumped: “I have no idea,” he answered. “It goes back to what I said: Joe Biden owes black people his political life. You know what I’m saying? So don’t disrespect that base by not showing up, especially when, you know, all your other former opponents did,” he said.

McKelvey also claimed that sources have told him that the decision may have something to do with Biden’s campaign advisers. “I definitely got it on great authority that a lot of the black surrogates around him don’t want him to come on ‘The Breakfast Club’ for whatever reason,” he said.

“Black people saved his life the past couple of weeks,” McKelvey concluded. “His campaign would be dead if it wasn’t for our O.G. Jim Clyburn in South Carolina endorsing him, and all those black voters in the South going out and voting for him,” McKelvey concluded. “Plus, you were the vice president for the first black president. You, in particular, definitely need a black agenda.”



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Americans Sick of President ‘Lies All the Time’



Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Saturday celebrated his big Nevada caucus win with supporters in San Antonio, Texas, declaring that the American people are “sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time.”

Multiple media outlets on Saturday evening called the Nevada race for the socialist senator, and he celebrated with supporters in San Antonio:

“I’m delighted to bring you some pretty good news. I think all of you know we won the popular vote in Iowa, we won the New Hamshire primary, and according to three networks and the AP, we have now won the Nevada caucus,” he said as supporters broke out in cheers of “Bernie.”

“No campaign has a grassroots campaign like we do, which is another reason we are going to win this election,” he declared, also proclaiming that he will win the Democrat Primary in Texas and in the general election.

Sanders told supporters that Trump gets “very very upset easily” so “don’t tell him we’re going to beat him in Texas.”

“We are going to win in Texas and across the country because the American people are sick and tired of a president who lies all of the time,” Sanders said.

“They are sick and tired of a corrupt administration. They are sick and tired of a president who is undermining American democracy, who thinks he is above the law, and who apparently has never read the Constitution in this country,” he continued.

“The American people are sick and tired of a government which is based on greed, corruption, and lies. They want an administration which is based on the principles of justice —  economic justice, social justice, racial justice, and environmental justice,” he added.

The socialist senator also told his supporters that Trump and his friends “think they are going to win this election”  by dividing people by race, religion, and sexual orientation.

“We are going to win because we are doing exactly the opposite,” he declared.

President Trump reacted to Sanders’ strong showing in Nevada on Saturday, warning him against allowing the Democrat establishment to steal the nomination from him.

“Looks like Crazy Bernie is doing well in the Great State of Nevada. Biden & the rest look weak, & no way Mini Mike can restart his campaign after the worst debate performance in the history of Presidential Debates,” he said.

“Congratulations Bernie, & don’t let them take it away from you!”:





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Peers hand themselves an inflation-busting 3.1 per cent pay rise hiking their daily tax-free pay to £323 – The Sun


PEERS are handing themselves an inflation-busting 3.1 per cent pay rise in April — hiking their daily, tax-free pay to £323.

The move comes after the House of Lords decided to link allowances to MPs’ pay increases.

 Peers have handed themselves an inflation-busting 3.1 per cent pay rise, which will hike their daily tax-free pay to £323

1

Peers have handed themselves an inflation-busting 3.1 per cent pay rise, which will hike their daily tax-free pay to £323Credit: AP:Associated Press

But in contrast to MPs, peers do not pay income tax or National Insurance.

Critics also point out that MPs’ pay is linked to average weekly earnings in the public sector.

Peers receive expenses on top of the allowance for every time they are in the upper chamber.

The House of Lords is due to sit for around 150 days this year, so peers could get nearly £50,000.

With inflation at 1.4 per cent, TaxPayers’ Alliance boss John O’Connell said: “This looks like a plum deal for the Peers but a rum deal for the taxpayer.

“These allowances are meant to cover costs of working in Westminster to make sure the best can serve, not to offer the Lords and Ladies a large tax-free increase.”

But a Lords spokesman said: “Between 2010 and 2018, the daily allowance was frozen.

“In the last decade, the House of Lords daily allowance has increased by 4.3 per cent.

“In that same period, the salaries of MPs went up by more than 20 per cent.”

The Sun Says

WE didn’t think the Lords could do any more harm to their shattered reputation — but the grasping duffers have found a way.

The unelected chamber was already on thin ice before peers spent three years shamefully trying to overturn Brexit while pocketing £313 a day tax-free.

And you might think that, with their public standing now shredded, they would have the decency to freeze that rate.

Especially with inflation at only 1.4 per cent. But no.

They’ve voted themselves an inflation-busting 3.1 per cent instead — so they’ll now get £323 just for showing up.

A few Lords and Ladies have experience and ability, we admit.

The rest shuffle in for the warmth and the cash.

The truth is the House of Lords is an antiquated insult to our democracy, a dumping ground for political failures and discredited cronies, where almost no one is too odious . . . though it still draws the line at Bercow, obviously.

A courageous Government with a big majority would take it on and reinvent it as a mainly elected second chamber — with a small handful of unelected peers chosen for specific expertise.

How about it, Boris?

Former Speaker John Bercow explains ‘conspiracy’ to block him from House of Lords







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Republicans Plan Legislative Blitz to Back Trump State of the Union Agenda



Republicans in the House are planning a full-scale offensive to back up the agenda President Donald Trump presented during Tuesday’s State of the Union address.

Beginning with a measure on Thursday from Rep. Denver Riggleman (R-VA), Republicans will offer legislation and other measures to support the American successes Trump laid out in his historic address on Tuesday night.

Riggleman presented a resolution for Congress to support Trump’s “Best is Yet to Come” policy blueprint on Thursday, which explicitly highlights the vision Trump detailed in the SOTU.

“Supporting policies that are a part of the ‘Best is Yet to Come’ blueprint, outlined by President Trump during his historic, optimistic State of the Union Address,” the resolution’s text states, specifically quoting several passages from Trump’s address.

The resolution states in part:

Whereas on February 4, 2020, President Trump noted that, “The unemployment rates for African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and Asian-Americans have reached the lowest levels in history. African-American youth unemployment has reached an all-time low.”

It continues, quoting several lines directly from the SOTU address, including: Millions of Americans coming off food stamp rolls; jobs and investment “pouring into 9,000 previously-neglected neighborhoods thanks to Opportunity Zones”; the administration’s promise to stand against socialism and stand up for freedom; the vow to continue “building an inclusive society” by “making sure that every young American gets a great education and the opportunity to achieve the American Dream”; the administration’s commitment to the “One Trillion Trees Initiative”; the administration’s end of the catch-and-release of illegal immigrants; and the administration’s commitment to uphold religious liberty and the “Constitutional right to pray in public schools,” among other examples.

The resolution asks Congress to support policies “that further expands the booming economic growth outlined by President Trump in his State of the Union address” and to embrace the “‘Best is Yet to Come’ policy blueprint for the people of the United States” as outlined in the SOTU.

“This agenda is an optimistic plan to continue the record-setting economic growth we are seeing and provide solutions to problems that ail American citizens,” Riggleman said on the House floor on Thursday.

“It is imperative that Congress step forward and support this agenda as I do,” he added.

“[It’s] an agenda that dramatically lowers prescription drug processionals and raises wages for hardworking Americans. An agenda that will build an inclusive society and make sure every young American has the opportunity to achieve the American dream,” he continued, citing the historically low national unemployment rate of 3.5 percent.

“It is clear the economic policies the president has implemented are working. The ‘Best is Yet to Come’ blueprint will continue this growth and build upon it,” Riggleman said.

“The American economy is stronger than ever, and we should work to continue this growth,” he added.

Nevertheless, by advancing the Previous Question on Thursday, House Democrats effectively rejected consideration of the resolution, making it clear on Tuesday night and thereafter that, despite the successes for Americans on a variety of policy fronts, they intend to continue their historic opposition to Trump and his agenda due to personal animosity.

“President Trump delivered an incredible speech with policy goals that can unite the country and grow our economy, and House Republicans want to help him follow through on those goals,” a House GOP aide told Breitbart News in an exclusive statement.

“Everyone in America needs to understand that the Democrats from districts where President Trump won continuously vote for the agenda of AOC and Pelosi instead of supporting our president,” the aide added.

The Democrats’ latest and most severe effort to undercut Trump — the push to impeach him — failed in grand fashion in the U.S. Senate the day after his SOTU address. The Senate voted by substantial margins to acquit the president on all charges brought by the House, which impeached him for abuse of power and obstruction of Congress.

With less than a year from the November elections, Republicans in the House are intensifying efforts to contrast their backing of the Trump agenda with the Democrats’ far-left, socialist vision. In the coming weeks and months ahead, the GOP will embark on a full-scale effort to differentiate themselves from what President Trump calls the “Do-nothing Democrats” and offer different pieces of legislation to support tenants of the “Best is Yet to Come” blueprint in coming weeks.

The GOP needs to take back a net of 18 seats from Democrats in this year’s congressional election in order to retake the House majority from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the Democrats. There are 30 districts currently represented by Democrats that Trump won in 2016 and another 20 districts, roughly, that Republicans believe are competitive this cycle.

Putting a focus on policy solutions for Americans — as the president has — could help Republicans contrast their push to help the country with Democrats’ efforts to undermine economic — and other wins — for voters out of partisan spite of Trump.





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Nigel Farage explains how he thinks Brexit came about – Channel 4 News


Twenty six years ago, a tiny political party was founded with the aim of pulling the UK out of the EU. In just 100 hours time it will have achieved its aim.

Nigel Farage was a founder member of UKIP and led the party for nine years as Brexit switched from being the obsession of a minority to the will of the majority in the 2016 referendum.

Many say he is responsible for that , so how does he think it came about?



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Schiff: Trump ‘Guilty’ if Senate Rejects Democrats’ Demand for New Witnesses, Evidence



WASHINGTON, DC — House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) argued on Tuesday that a refusal by the Senate to agree to Democrats’ demand to allow new witnesses and evidence in the impeachment trial without a vote would deem President Donald Trump guilty regardless of the verdict.

In other words, if the Republican-led Senate does not carry out the impeachment trial the way the Democrats want it to, Trump will be considered guilty even if the upper chamber acquits him. A guilty verdict in the Senate would remove Trump from office.

Schiff told reporters:

If the Senate and the senate leadership … will not allow the calling of witnesses or the presentation of documents, If [Senate Majority Leader Mitch] McConnell makes this the first impeachment trial in history without witnesses or documents, it will not prove the president innocent. It will merely prove the Senate guilty of working with the president to obstruct the truth from coming out, so I do think that by structuring the trial this way, it furthers our case that what’s going on here really is a cover-up of evidence to the American people.

While McConnell says his newly unveiled resolution outlining the rules that will govern the Senate trial makes the process fair, Schiff argues otherwise, saying the guidelines “make it impossible to hear a fair trial.”

The Senate, nevertheless, is expected to approve the resolution.

Speaking from the Senate’s floor on Tuesday, McConnell noted that the resolution that lays out the rules for how Senators will carry out the impeachment trial allows for a vote on whether both parties can introduce new evidence and witnesses.

McConnell made it clear that he will not pre-commit to allowing new evidence before hearing the Democrats’ arguments for convicting Trump. Moreover, he acknowledged that no one pushed the House’s hand to rush the impeachment inquiry, noting that they could have waited for more evidence if they thought it necessary.

McConnell stressed that the GOP-led Senate would not do the Democrat-controlled House’s investigation.

Key congressmen have recently threatened to call new witnesses to testify in the House if the Senate does take their deposition. They have also said they are continuing with their impeachment inquiry. Their comments came after House Democrats transmitted the two articles of impeachment — abuse of power and obstruction of Congress — to the Senate, a move that is supposed to end the House’s role in the impeachment process.



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A new International Strategy for #Wales


International Relations Minister Eluned Morgan has launched Wales’ first International Strategy, promoting the country as an outward-looking nation ready to work and trade with the rest of the world.

The strategy will build on Wales’ growing international reputation for sustainability and global responsibility and establish links with the Welsh diaspora on all continents.

It is being launched as the UK prepares to leave the EU and negotiate a new relationship with the European Union and trade deals with international partners around the world.

Eluned Morgan said: “A strong international presence has never been more relevant for Wales.

“Following the EU referendum in 2016 and the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with Europe, Wales will pursue its place on the international stage with renewed vigour.”

The International Strategy has three core ambitions over the next five years:

  • Raise Wales’ profile on the international stage
  • Grow the economy by increasing exports and attracting inward investment

Establish Wales as a globally responsible nation

It is the start of a new approach to how the Welsh Government promotes Wales internationally, identifies Wales’ key global markets in a post-Brexit landscape and highlights three sectors where Wales is recognised as a world leader – cyber security, compound-semiconductors and the creative industries. This will project a new dynamic and vibrant image of Wales as a modern, confident, high-tech, creative and sustainable nation.

Speaking ahead of the launch at Econotherm, a Bridgend based export company which has achieved year-on-year growth and was recently recognised in the Wales Fast Growth 50, the Minister said:

“As Wales’ first Minister for International Relations, it was important to bring the achievements of the last 20 years together and use these as a foundation to set out Wales’ future approach to its international work.

“For a small, smart nation, Wales enjoys a reputation, which stretches far beyond its borders. The strategy will build on this reputation and showcase Wales as a nation that will be known for its creativity, its expertise in technology and its commitment to sustainability.”

The Minister was visiting Brussels and Paris l to promote the strategy.

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Scalise: People Criticizing Trump for Soleimani Strike Need to Ask Whose Side They’re On



On Saturday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends,” House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) stated that people who are criticizing President Trump for the Soleimani strike are “going to have to look at a mirror and say, whose side are you on if you can question something that actually makes America safer?”

Scalise said, “Any responsible commander-in-chief would have done the same thing, but President Trump’s the one who did it, and I’m glad that the president had the fortitude to say we’re going to put America first. We’re going to protect America and our allies around the world by doing this. And you know, if somebody wants to criticize him for it, I think they’re going to have to look at a mirror and say, whose side are you on if you can question something that actually makes America safer?”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett





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Sessions on Impeachment: ‘Dramatic Abuse’ by House — Pelosi Refusal to Send to Senate Shows Lack of Confidence



HUNTSVILLE, Alabama — On Thursday, former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, was on the campaign trail in his state’s Tennessee Valley, catching up with voters and local officials about the issues of the day.

Of notable importance was the House of Representatives’ passage of two articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump a day earlier.

In comments given to Breitbart News, the former U.S. Senator and Attorney General criticized the House of Representatives’ effort on the grounds of substance and called it a “dramatic abuse” by the body.

“I think it has just been shocking to most Americans to see how little substance this is,” he said. “It’s like, is this all there is? After all these vicious charges against the president, it comes down to these vague charges of abuse and obstruction? What does that mean? I think it’s a dramatic abuse by the House of Representatives of the impeachment clause in the Constitution. And it’s not anything the House says it is. Some have tried to say that. But in truth, the Constitution says treason, bribery, high crimes, and misdemeanors. Those mean something. It means something other than we had a disagreement with you, and now we’re going to impeach you. This was a horrible, improper act, in my opinion.”

The former U.S. Attorney General also weighed in on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) refusal at the moment to transfer the articles of impeachment to the U.S. Senate, where a trial would take place. He said that gesture from Pelosi showed a lack of confidence in the two articles.

“I think there’s no doubt they don’t have confidence in them,” Sessions explained. “They’re not able to defend the charges. You had Professor [Jonathan] Turley, who I have gotten to know, Ken Starr, who is a great lawyer, being a law school dean and was a Clinton special prosecutor, but he says it is nowhere close to impeachable offenses. And Professor Turley does, too. He says it would be the least supported impeachment charge ever in our nation’s history. I’m totally in accord with that. Not sending it over is to me a clear indication that they’re not proud of their work. I said some weeks ago it looked like they were going to force this thing through and slink away, and hope it goes away. They know it doesn’t have legs in the Senate.”

Sessions did not have a recommendation as to whether or not witnesses should be called in the Senate trial. But he added that he did not think witnesses were necessary and pointed out that witnesses were not called in the impeachment trial of Bill Clinton in 1999.

“In my opinion, there’s so little substance in this impeachment charge that calling witnesses is not required to fulfill the responsibility of the Senate,” he said. “But I know Sen. McConnell and the White House are talking about that question. I won’t make a recommendation as to what they should do. I think they should think it through, and I think they probably should reach a good decision. I don’t think it’s required. We didn’t do witnesses on Clinton. With Clinton, there was proof beyond a reasonable doubt — all the elements of three different crimes. There’s no crime really charged here. The charges are vague, and they support impeachment for almost anything Congress wanted to do in the future if this is sustained.”

Sessions is the apparent front-runner in a crowded field for the seat he held for 20 years before accepting President Donald Trump’s appointment to serve as U.S. Attorney General. Sessions faces former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R) for the opportunity to run against incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) next November.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor





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